Saturday, October 04, 2008

How to find an art agent.

Do you know who your strongest competitor is? If you do, find out who their agent is and see if that agent can take on another client. You might find they don’t have an actual agent, but market themselves in other ways like placing ads in trade magazines. Recently Eric, the owner of Artspan, placed a full page in Art in America. I’ve seen similar ads in Art Review, Antiques and Art and Artist Advocate. Taking out a large ad in a national magazine can cost big bucks, but it can also give you big returns. You have to be ready for it in the way of the number of pieces you can have on hand at any one time. If you share the expense with say 5 other artists, then the cost is cut down and you all get great exposure. This is what Eric did. He ask all of us if we would like to participate and several did. This is one of the reasons I like Artspan. Eric is always thinking of ways to help all of us.

You can be your own art agent but if you can’t because of time constraints or just don’t have the skills, I think I’d start out with someone that might be willing to promote you for a percent of sales. Most of the time an artist gains a reputation for the work they create in their local town and then branch out from there as they have more and more work to offer. I’ve known many artists who have husbands or wives that work as agents for their spouse.

If an agent approaches you don’t pay money in advance. You don’t have to get a lawyer to help you with contracts but if you can afford one, it certainly won’t hurt especially if you are looking to do this for many years. Start out with your agent on a small scale and a small time frame so both of you can see if you have a good fit. Once you see that things will work out you can think about what you need in a contract to protect you and your work. I’m also sure that the agent would want to protect themselves as well by asking for an exclusive contract.

Why not try the Tupperware party approach… get your friend to act as your agent and throw some Jewelry parties locally and then get their friends to book parties … soon your work would be all over the place. I’ve often thought art could be sold like that too. Hook up with a decorator and have them teach people how to hang art. Hook up with a model and have her wear your jewelry and teach folks how to wear jewelry to the best advantage. I can see it now… get in touch with a civic group and tell them you have an idea for a program. Civic groups are always looking for program material that would be of interest to their members. Okay.. this idea is going to cost you.

Wishing you much success! :drink:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Shadow notes

Concerning landscapes:

1. Over half of all shadows are made from the sky color which is usually ultramarine blue, alizarin and yellow ochre in various proportions.

2. "For me, shadows are filled with light and air. I try to make the paint quality transparent in shadow areas to convey their airyness. In addition, the temperature of shadow areas is the opposite of the light source. If the light is cool, the shadows are warm, and vice versa." Donna Cusano


1.Looking at any subject, you find two different types of shadows, cast shadows and form shadows. Once you begin to see the different types of shadows you will be able to take your painting further and make it more believable and interesting.

A cast shadow is what we think of when we sing the tune “Me and my shadow.” It the kind of shadow that is created when some object blocks the light source. For example, think of any object and then think of the shadow it would make if that object was sitting on a table or on the ground. The shadow you see is called a cast shadow. Same thing with shadows created by a flower blocking the light from another flower or a hat sitting on someone’s head. Even a nose can create a cast shadow. Casts shadows are the darker type of shadow because most of the light is being blocked out. Still there is color and a shadow isn’t a solid object… it is just a dark shape falling on a lighter surface, so some of that surface color has to show thru. Using transparent colors to create your shadows is a good idea but remember to make your shadows have sharp edges at the very base where the shadow meets the object but as the shadow leaves the object make the edges less sharp, less defined, softer and lighter.

A form shadow is the shadow that is actually found ON the object. Again it’s a shadow that is not in direct light. Mastering shadow form will help you turn an object making it have volume—three-dimensional. Form shadows are mostly soft having less defined edges and much lighter than it’s partner cast shadow.

Then there is the matter of reflected light, which I think of as a reverse shadow… lol, I thought I’d confuse you with that one.

Again, these are just notes cleaned up a bit. Hope I haven’t gotten anything confused.

2. Shadow color is determined by the light source and what the shadow is laying on top of. If you were painting a shadow on green grass and then that same shadow continued on to a pavement, the shadow would change color because the color of what the shadow is laying on top of would be different.

3. Reflected light is the light that jumps back onto the object from the light source hitting the ground, table, cheek other objects, as examples. Because it hits the ground, table, cheek or other object it will have some of that color in it but will be much lighter.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Color Wheel error

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

Looking back at the first steps to create my very own color wheel, I see I made a mistake not in creating the color, but in placing it in its correct spot. Did you see my mistake?

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to work some more on the color wheel and do the first exercise.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Color wheel - spectrum colors

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

Finished with my color mixing for today.

I made all the colors found around the color wheel using the recipes in the book I'm using. The only adjustment I made was finding a sub for thalo green. I decided it was close enough to viridian. I looked at the color wheel I had printed it off from the handprint site. I can't seem to find the exact one at the handprint site but I did find this one ... a value chart of colors all lined up against a gray scale value bar. I thought it was pretty cool and did answer some questions for me. all the information at is for watercolors but you can learn much that translates to oils and acrylics there. After all, pigment is pigment.

Here's my color mixing for today.

Another point I found interesting at handprint is this statement:

Because most artists have been trained under the "color theory" dogma that paints are just "colors", even knowledgeable artists or authors such as Michael Wilcox, Charles Reid, Susanna Spann, Jim Kosvanec or the late Zoltan Szabo do not always keep the distinction clear between pigments (colored powders), paints (mixtures of pigments and liquid vehicle) and "colors" (the product names given to paints). This results in frequent inaccuracies and outdated information in art instruction books, as explained in my book reviews. The editors at publishing houses such as Watson-Guptill, North Light or Watercolor Magazine share in the responsibility — after all, packaging and distributing information is their business. This confusion is an entrenched habit, abetted by the marketing techniques of art materials manufacturers, but a conscientious effort by artists, authors and publishers can put it in the past.

Color Study

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

I'm beginning a study of color. I may have mentioned this a couple of times before, because I've started this color study several times and just got distracted. It would be good if I had a class that I had to show up to at a certain time and then get a grade at the end... that might help me finish up, but until then, I'm going to start again and again if that's what it takes. :)

For my study of color I'm going to use a book written by Arthur Stern called "How to see color and paint it". I may jump around a bit so I don't get bogged down in reading text and not getting paint on a canvas but I do intend on moving thru the exercises he gives. I've never made it past the third exercise before. There are 22 painting projects. I feel that finishing all 22 will give me a better understanding of where I go wrong with most of my paintings.

I'll post my progress if you want to follow along and welcome you to also post any exercise you might do too. Actually, if you would do the exercises with me, it might help me complete them. We could be classmates! :)

Get ready:

I'll be using 8 oil paints.
Alizarin crimson
Cadmium red light
Cadmium orange
Cadminum yellow pale
Phthalocyanine green
Phthalocyannine blue
Ultramarine blue
Titanium white

Palette knifes
solvent and medium
view finder
set up box
paper towels
colored paper ... I may use material instead. (this is for taping to the set up box so you can change out the color of your background)
trash can

You might think listing these is silly but I'm also trying really hard to clean up my studio, so having a list of things I need helps me make sure I keep my essentials handy... ready to use.

I need to contruct a set up box. So that's what I'm doing today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time to move on

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

It's time to move on. I've broken the dry spell and am inspired to go on to the next painting. This final edit is not what I had hoped for but learning to push values from the darkest darks to the lightest lights is good for me. The final painting is too green, but like I said, it's time to move on. After all, all three of the paintings have about 5 pounds of paint on each of them. Just teasing. :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gray Scale

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

corrected values

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

Corrected values... some correction on color

Plein Air Ocean studies

Click any image to see an enlarged view.

Slowly I'm being able to stand to paint. I've taken some old plein air paintings out from the storage room and have tried to finish them up and get them framed.

I am really rusty and feel the need to do some color work so I'm going to try to do that the next few days.

To see what I'm talking about, take a look at these in gray scale and then I'll post the color images next. The gray scale images look so much better in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

March Newsletter

March 2008

To: Plein Air Georgia Members
From: Phyllis Franklin in Thomaston, Georgia

I have great news. Jim Greenwood of Acworth, Georgia has agreed to manage and keep PAG on line and serve as a board member. Thank you so much Jim. I know I hear applause and cheers from everyone. Thank you too to BJ Wright and Jo Adang who have agreed to stay on as editors and advisory board members. I too will stay on as an advisory board member to lend support to Jim.

Look for a letter from Jim soon telling you of plans he has for 2008. Also look for a membership invoice to come to you. When you get this invoice, just follow the instructions given to you by the Pay Pal folks. Your support moving PAG forward is so appreciated.

You do not have to become a member of PAG to participate in most events but by becoming a member you will show your support for the organization, its mission and activities. We also provide a Yahoo discussion group which will alert you event news via email and encourage you to join at your earliest convenience. Go to and select groups, enter the name Plein Air Georgia in the group search box and that will give you a box to click and join. Joining the discussion group is not mandatory but just nice if you want to receive news via email.

It is an honor to be a member of PAG. At Plein Air Georgia, we have no preference as to style, materials used, or artistic interpretation. These are all personal choices that contribute to the unique expression of each artist while they paint 'en plein air'. Likewise, we think honest work by novice or professional is equally valid. The challenges and rewards of plein air painting are open to all. Although many of us are not die-hard plein air purist, we all enjoy painting outside and enjoy networking with fellow artists who enjoy the same. Some of us claim the title of plein air artists and others just enjoy the occasional outing. No matter how much or how little you are able to get outside and paint, all painters and patrons alike are welcome as members of PAG.

Join us for Workshops- paintouts- forum discussions, friendship
There is always something new to learn to push us beyond our comfort zone. Our mission is to serve the membership by providing a means to communicate with each other, share event and workshop information and provide a showcase for our work

To join, send an email to requesting membership. An invoice will be sent to you. Please provide us with the following:

Name - Email address
Website URL if you have one
Short Biography or artist statement
Physical location – town – county -Local art organization
Three or four images of your work in jpg or gif format along with art size, title and medium.

We are excited to have you as a member us no matter if you join with full membership or just join the Yahoo discussion Group. If you would like to become a contributing editor or serve on the advisory board for your area with post capabilities to the news blog, which feeds into the PAG web, let us know and we can set that up for you. Web membership is not required to be a news correspondent nor is membership at the Yahoo discussion group. What is important is being able to stay informed so we don't miss an event, resource or opportunity that takes place somewhere members might like to attend. If you have questions, just send a message to and that will reach the PAG staff.

Jo Adang
Phyllis Franklin
Jim Greenwood
BJ Wright